Online Live Dealer Blackjack
Most of us had our first blackjack experience in a land-based casino. There, a very patient dealer probably put up with your questions, your slow play, and your mistakes in etiquette. However, at the end of the session, you probably felt way more comfortable with the game, and if you were sitting with other people at the table, then you likely also had a decent social experience.
The invention of the online casino brought with it a level of convenience gamblers had never experienced before. For the first time, you didn't need to get up and leave your house and go to a casino to play blackjack. Players who didn't live near a land-based property now could sit at home on their couches and play the same game they had come to love in a casino. However, for many players, the online version of blackjack is missing the level of enjoyment that comes from the interaction with a human dealer.
Thankfully, some very smart people determined that you could combine the best of both worlds, and with the increased strength of internet connections came the live dealer version of blackjack. This page is dedicated to that game - its history, the benefits of playing the game, and some of our favorite places to find it.
Best Places to Play Live Dealer Blackjack
Before we get into all the details about how live dealer blackjack differs from RNG games or why so many people like this version better, we know there are some of you who just want to jump in and start playing! For you folks, we thought we would start with the best places to play live dealer blackjack.
This site was built with the goal of informing players on all aspects of the gambling industry, and that includes comprehensive reviews of hundreds of online casinos. Our team of experts has looked at all the places you can play live dealer blackjack. After taking into consideration factors like the software being used, the bonuses and promotions being offered, and the mobile compatibility of the sites, we have come up with this list of our top-rated online casinos for live dealer blackjack play. You will not go wrong selecting any of these sites.
|Rank||US Online Casino||Sign Up Bonus||Get Started|
|#1||Bovada Casino||100% up to $3,000|
|#2||BetOnline Casino||50% up to $2,500|
|#3||SB Casino||100% up to $1,000|
History of Live Dealer Blackjack
As with many innovations, a perfect storm of events needed to occur for live dealer blackjack to be built and distributed. First, there had to be a demand for the game. As we explained in the last section, the standard random number generator version of the game can feel very cold, as the computer deals cards at an alarmingly fast rate. Players were definitely looking for more of a social atmosphere, and online poker proved that players wanted to be interactive even if gambling for thousands of dollars.
The biggest impediment to being able to offer a dealer on your screen was the speed of most people's internet connections. In the early 2000s, video streaming was becoming popular, but the connections were very choppy, making even simple communication a challenge. Adding in the gambling aspect would have caused all sorts of commotion, which we already saw in the initial non-download casinos of the time. However, the strength of broadband connections continued to improve year after year, and by the middle of the decade, video streaming services like YouTube were proving that people wanted to be able to stream video to their computer rather than having to download a file.
With everything in place, it was then up to a company to step up and start building the product. One of the first industries to offer live streaming on a regular basis was the porn industry, so the model was already there - set up a studio featuring multiple tables and dealers, essentially mimicking a casino floor, and you were a step closer.
Evolution Gaming, considered to be the leader in the live dealer space, was one of the first companies to build one of these casino studios. They also built software that allows you to make your bet from your computer, but to have the cards being dealt on a table in that studio by a human dealer. The initial offering from Evolution Gaming came in 2006, but it was full of bugs. One of the biggest issues was that players were having a hard time seeing the cards on the screen, so specialty decks needed to be created. Evolution spent the next couple of years working through the issues, but even with all the troubles, one thing was becoming evident - players really liked the game!
Today, Evolution has 8 studios around the world to handle the demand for their live dealer blackjack games, and other companies have thrown their hats in the ring. From independent companies based in Asia and Latin America to industry giant Playtech, there is no shortage of live dealer blackjack software now, and this continues to be a fast-growing segment of the market.
How to Play Live Dealer Blackjack
So, now that you have an idea of how live dealer blackjack came to exist, let's talk about the game itself. The game is played with very similar rules to the ones you would find in a land-based casino. The first thing you are going to want to do is to select a table to sit down at and play. When you go to the casino lobby, you will likely see a live casino tab, and when you open that, a series of games will be visible. Similar to a land-based casino, you may find multiple versions of live dealer blackjack available - these games tend to have slight variations on the rules, and if any of these are unfamiliar, you can check out our blackjack page for a review of all the top variants.
Once you have selected a game type, you are then going to have to select a stakes level. This is because it is conceivable that you are going to be sitting "next" to another player, so just like in a land-based casino, they want players gambling in the same range sitting at the same table.
Now, here comes the fun part. At most live dealer casinos, once you have selected the table and stakes, you can select what dealer you want to deal your games. Most software companies have multiple dealers in their studios, and this means you can choose from a roster of the on-duty staff. Whether you want to have a male or female dealer, or a certain ethnicity, you will be able to choose who gets to deal your cards!
Okay, now that all the game options are set, it is time to get to playing! A screen will pop up where you will see everything you would see at a land-based blackjack table...except for the chips. Those are still presented in digital form, so you simply click on the amount you want to bet, and then the dealer deals the cards. Multiple hands may be dealt at your table, so you will watch the game progress until it is your turn. You then play the hand as you would any blackjack hand, and the result of the hand determines if you get money back in your account or if you have to ante up again.
It is that simple! You can stay as long as you like, and when you are ready to leave, you simply close the window, and your seat is relinquished.
Benefits of Live Dealer Blackjack
The live dealer blackjack experience has completely changed the way that online blackjack is played, and the general consensus is that players really enjoy this new delivery method. There are some significant benefits to playing the game with a real dealer, and we will have a look at some of the top benefits here.
This is where we see a huge difference between a live dealer online blackjack game and a typical RNG game. When you play at either table, you are playing with a shoe of cards, which is typically 6 or 8 decks of cards. What you may not know is that in the RNG version of the game, all the cards are shuffled after every hand. When you are playing with a live dealer, the shoe is dealt until the cut card is revealed (usually this happens about 2/3 of the way through the shoe). Now, not everyone is a card counter, but having the cards being reshuffled every hand actually increases the house edge slightly, which is obviously not good for players.
The other thing about the gameplay that is different between the RNG and live dealer versions of the game is the speed of the hands. When you are playing against the computer, there is no time between hands, so you are able to play a significantly higher number of hands per hour. Some players prefer that from a gambling perspective, but the recreational blackjack player will enjoy the speed of the live dealer game, which more closely replicates being in a land-based casino.
One of the biggest drawbacks to playing online casino games has always been the lonely feeling you get sitting at a table by yourself, even though you know that there could be thousands of players all playing at the same casino. For many of us, the social interaction adds to the overall player experience, and that is definitely missing at an RNG blackjack table.
Having a human dealer increases the social interaction, even though the dealer cannot see you on your end of the camera (which is probably a good thing, especially given what you may look like in your bed playing the games). Also, the fact that there are other players at the table gives you the feeling that you are not alone. Adding a chat window to the live dealer blackjack screen gives you a way to communicate in real time with the other players at the table. All of this in combination makes live dealer blackjack far more social, which tends to keep players at a table for longer as well.
The introduction of live dealer casino games has completely changed the landscape of this industry. As players look to replicate the emotion and enjoyment that comes from being in a land-based casino, the popularity of games like live dealer blackjack will continue to increase. If you haven't tried a live dealer blackjack table yet, we think you are missing out! Now that you have read this page, we think you should have all the information you need to find an excellent casino that offers the game, and you can make a deposit and start playing!
This is a common question we get about the live dealer games, and our answer is simple: who would benefit from the game being rigged? The casino operator wants the game to be legit so you will play longer and so they can attract more players. The software supplier relies on licensees putting their games in the lobby of the casino, so having a game be considered rigged would ruin a reputation pretty quickly.
Now, to be as safe as possible, you do want to ensure that both the software provider and the operator are licensed by a gaming jurisdiction. If they are, then the software is regularly audited to ensure its integrity.